The accuracy of scanned prices

David M. Hardesty, Ronald C. Goodstein, Dhruv Grewal, Anthony D. Miyazaki, Praveen Kopalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Nearly all retailers use price scanning systems to process transactions quickly, and presumably, accurately. Inaccuracies in scanned prices have important implications for retailers in that undercharges may impact retail profitability while overcharges could result in negative consumer perceptions of retailers and continued legal action. Here, we investigate the overall State of accuracy of scanned prices and develop certain empirical generalizations. To do so, we begin with a review of what is known regarding the accuracy of scanned prices and conduct a reanalysis of FTC data and compare the results with those from more recent cross-sectional data from the State of Washington. We then conduct a thorough analysis of a large longitudinal price scanner data set, with 231,760 products screened over a 15-year period. We investigate accuracy across different retailer characteristics, merchandise locations, and promotional activities. Implications of these results for retailers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number2
Early online date5 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Empirical generalizations
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Price accuracy
  • Scanner data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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